January 31, 2006

teci's thesis, episode 1: stepping out in faith

praise God :)

three years ago (well, even now), i would have interpreted "praise God" as just this expression used by older people, like "excuse me" and "thank you": automatic and with good intentions but probably not sincerely meant at the time.

but...praise God! :)

this is my series about my MS Physics thesis (ayayay...!). i just feel that it's going to be a series, with me learning about many things about life (maybe even a little about physics!...). (disclaimer: nothing bad about physics, it's just that i'm inclined towards quite a different field...)

first off: stepping out in faith.

i've always been a procrastinator. (unless i put off procrastinating until tomorrow, hahaha...) (yipes, my students might be reading!!! not that this fact will surprise them...)

i've been putting off doing my thesis because when i find time for it, my computer programs don't run the way they should --- or they don't run at all!! i'm being bogged down by the simplest of issues: "pair" instead of "Pair", ".cpp" instead of ".hpp"...really gets frustrating! it's all because i had to "rewrite" or "translate" my entire computer program from the beginning. granted, it's for the best, and it's the only way to go (relevant research) BUT a mother's labor pains ARE painful.

anyways, last night i was talking to God :) and telling him that it's already JANUARY 29, 2006 and my thesis draft is due FEBRUARY 21, 2006! yipes!!! feels like BS Physics thesis all over again, with overnights and all...

and just like two years ago, i just know in my heart of hearts that He will show Himself strong in my weakness. :) hasn't He always been there for us, our source of comfort and help in times of need, our source of abundance in times of abundance?

yup, we know that, but stepping out in faith means participating in His wonderful plans for us, obeying and following His voice because we trust in His goodness...

translation: i "know" that He'll come through for me and my thesis, but i step out in faith as i actually "do" my thesis (or at least make the effort to sit in front of the computer and pray for miracles).

so praise God! :)

as i stepped out in faith and determinedly started to work on my programs, all the compilation errors and linking errors and syntax errors were resolved, one by one. as in! :) all right! i'm not going to take credit for something i didn't do --- i've been trying the past weeks to debug my programs. i'm not going to take credit for the inadequate things that i did do --- i opened and read my programs, sure, but i've done that for so long too. i'm not going to take credit for stepping out in faith --- why applaud the actor who suddenly realized that the director calls the shots (literally!) and that trusting obedience ("faith") works to his own benefit?

nope, all the glory is His, hence this blog entry. :)

letting go and letting God. :) --> hmm, this saying is for those who do and worry excessively. FOR ME, the problem is i "let go" of my thesis in the sense that i wasn't doing anything!! the issue is not how to let go, but HOW TO CLAIM GOD'S PROMISES BY FAITH --- how to actively do my best in the knowledge that it is God working in me and through me so i will succeed :)

it might seem strange to some readers (naks! i have an audience...) that trusting in God means "doing" something --- hey, God can take care of it, right? well, yes --- it is God who enables both the young virgin and the barren woman to give birth, it is God who enables meager or nonexistent resources to suddenly be more than enough for multitudes of people. but should i expect my computer program to run itself, and my thesis manuscript to write itself? of course not! :) as God has shown so many times in the past, He inserts the supernatural within the natural: previously barren Rachel and Hannah, old Elizabeth and Sarah, still-a-virgin-then Mary suddenly found themselves with child but the babies still had to go through the nine months within the womb (the babies didn't pop into the mommy's laps). the boy's ordinary loaves and fish were suddenly more to feed 5,000 and bread and meat suddenly fell from heaven as the Israelites wandered in the desert, but the masses still had to go through the process of getting the food, and eating them, and digesting them (the food didn't pop into their stomachs).

my point is, one thing i love about miracles is that they are sudden unexpected, "impossible" events that weave themselves into the natural. little sparks that say, whether or not you believe in God, that He is there and He is working out everything for our good.

but just because something is "natural" doesn't make it any less of a miracle: has anyone seen the full moon lately? :) or a baby: wheeeee!!! :)

but when you ask God for a miracle...
you are acknowledging that what you ask for will come from Him
you are making your first steps of faith
and you will surely be blessed :)

January 19, 2006

breathing: MY worship song

i don't have the time to check the artists' actual meaning behind their song...but applying to me, it's definitely MY worship song. especially a while ago. thanks, God, for letting me remember the reason i live. :)

by Lifehouse

I'm finding my way back to sanity again
Though I don't really know what
I'm going to do when I get there
Take a breath and hold on tight
Spin around one more time
And gracefully fall back to the arms of Grace

I am hanging on every word you say
And even if you don't want to speak tonight
That's alright, alright with me
'Cause I want nothing more than to sit
Outside heaven's door and listen to you breathing
Is where I want to be

I'm looking past the shadows
Of my mind into the truth and
I'm trying to identify
The voices in my head
God which one's you?
Let me feel one more time
What it feels like to feel
And break these calluses off me
One more time

'Cause I am hanging on every word you say
And even if you don't want to speak tonight
That's alright, alright with me
'Cause I want nothing more than to sit
Outside your door and listen to you breathing
Is where I want to be

I don't want a thing from you
Bet you're tired of me waiting
For the scraps to fall
Off your table to the ground
I just want to be here now

'Cause I am hanging on every word you say
And even if you don't want to speak tonight
That's alright, alright with me
'Cause I want nothing more than to sit
Outside heaven's door and listen to you breathing
Is where I want to be

I am hanging on every word you say
And even if you don't want to speak tonight
That's alright, alright with me
'Cause I want nothing more than to sit
Outside heaven's door and listen to you breathing
Is where I want to be

everyday miracles :)

Everyday Miracles
by Sara Groves
from the album Past The Wishing

It's the everyday miracles that keep my hope alive
It's the way You move in little things that help me survive
And I know You move in greater ways
But this is great enough for me
What You do with my everyday is amazing

The things that seem impossible, I lay down at Your feet
And just when I am needing most You are there for me
And I know you've made the lame to walk
And caused the blind to see
But what You do with my everyday is amazing

When I'm down on my knees
And I can't make it through
When it's up to me
It's really up to You

ok na (talaga) :)

such a general, assuming/presuming statement :)
but i will make it anyway:
ok na. :)
Lord, thank You for giving me Your comfort. You didn't try to change everything according to how i would have wanted them to be; You didn't suddenly surprise me, saying 'it was a joke'...but You gave me Your strength.
yup. exactly what my friend said too. "God, give us Your strength." We really need it.
"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
(John 6:67-69)
even now i have to admit that it's good (in the long run!) that things don't always go my way. how can i learn fortitude if i don't learn how to endure the bad days? how can i grow in faith if i didn't need to ask Your strength to face each trial?
thank You for reminding me that You really are there.
and that along with the character i would develop in the long run, Your blessings (and rewards for sticking it out) would also be there, in the long run.
help me endure just a little bit longer :)
p.s. on that same note, please help me through my thesis :) (seems like these things always happen during thesis time!) but Your track record of 1-0 (1 victory during BS Physics thesis; 0 loss) as well as in countless other matters in my life (well, especially in heart matters!!!) is more than enough to help me through this one thing...
p.p.s. God, You really have a strange way of answering prayers! now i can watch x-men na :D and surf and read on them :) whee! (there's a good side to all of this, even in the short term!!!)

when it was over (AKA why i started this blog)

hmmm...actually i thought the lyrics were less...er, romantic :p still, if it was always the girl talking to the guy, i could say that i was the girl and i was talking to Him. :) you know, when all my wandering and confusion was over; when all the sin finally gave way to repentance.

i still want romantic love (see "ok na :) ") but there is a love that never fails; more than any romance novel can hint at.

When It Was Over
By Sara Groves
From the album “Add To The Beauty”

When it was over and they could talk about it
She said there's just one thing I have got to know
What in that moment when you were running so hard and fast
Made you stop and turn for home
He said I always knew you loved me even though I'd broken your heart
I always knew there'd be a place for me to make a brand new start

Oh love wash over a multitude of things
Love wash over a multitude of things
Love wash over a multitude of things
Make us whole

When it was over and they could talk about it
They were sitting on the couch
She said what on earth made you stay here
When you finally figured out what I was all about
He said I always knew you'd do the right thing
Even though it might take some time
She said, Yeah, I felt that and that's probably what saved my life

Oh love wash over a multitude of things
Love wash over a multitude of things
Love wash over a multitude of things
Make us whole

There is a love that never fails
There is a healing that always prevails
There is a hope that whispers a vow
A promise to stay while we're working it out
So come with your love and wash over us

January 18, 2006

ok na :)

the previous blog ("waiting for x3 with fear and trembling") is now obsolete :) thanks God! :)

but....only because i am now on the brink of...a more serious struggle?! (walang ganyan sa comics!) (Things like that aren't seen in comics!)

anyways, it's hard, but i follow One who is ever faithful. His is a path of long-term victories over short-term thrills. if i could just hold on for a little while...if i could endure just a little bit more...

He has been faithful to so many people whose lives i've been blessed to see transformed, right before my very eyes. and, though i forget now and then, the miracle of renewal in my life is nothing short of incredible. wow.

still, please pray for me. right now i know how to do the right thing and am currently doing the right thing, but it hurts. frankly, because things aren't going my way! please help me by praying that God would take out my selfishness and my stubbornness. hopefully, just like THAT! but i know better now. God removes my pride by letting me endure the most humiliating of circumstances. He increases my faith by letting me walk, seemingly alone, though like a toddler's parent He is just waiting with outstretched arms until i successfully reach Him. He takes away my selfishness by drawing me away from the things i thought i want, and He takes away my stubbornness by stubbornly saying no.

metamorphoses are never easy. but it's the only way to fly. :)

January 15, 2006

waiting for x3 with fear and trembling...or not! (see end)

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands
And pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You're my only hope
-- Switchfoot, "Only Hope" (playing right now)

before i forget, i'm putting it in this blog. to the handful (yihee) of people who get to read this, please pray for me. while i still have the sense to ask for help...

ok, i'm such a drama queen. but x-men 3 will be out in a few months (may 26 2006, now why did that date conveniently get lodged in the front of my brain?...).

let this blog entry be a time capsule. in case i get hooked so much on x3 that i (once again) turn to it as my false god. Lord, if that happens, have me read this, or have some blog-reader refer to this entry or comment on this so i'll remember...even if i'm still snagged hook line and sinker, at least i would then have an idea that it's somehow, slightly wrong to worship anyone but You.

i *know* that You're my only hope...but still i stray, i accidentally stray, i willingly stray. wah. Diyos ko po!

we're all Yours, God...by right, because You created us. but in our thoughts, words, actions...do we recognize that we belong to You? do we admit that we should belong to You?

can i pray that x3 will leave me inspired to do good and right, and have it end there? i don't want to be obsessed anymore! (haha, my writing this shows depth of said obsession...)

is this going to be like that struggle with some, erm, guy? where i have to let go and i don't want to let go but then i want to let go because it's for the greater good but then the hard thing is i don't really want to let go...that struggle which by the way is now non-existent and i can honestly say i'm wishing for the best yet without all the possessiveness and selfishness and resentment and obsession? (by the way, if that guy is reading, it's not you! or, it is you, but there are many of you! er, or, i'm already over you!!!)

hehe, all this babbling releases tension ;p

take away the pedestals, Lord. arm me with Your truths. :)

because i already know that i shouldn't worship them. that, when i actually get to be in their shoes, i wouldn't want that kind of life anyways...the life where you can save everybody but yourself, where outside everything seems perfect and yet the inside is wretched and corrupted...haven't i been in that situation before? i hated it!

x-men comics and movies are not evil in themselves, but i embraced them so fully that i unconsciously got the there-is-no-God-but-i-for-i-have-the-power philosophy. i know of many Christians who have no struggle with this (well, let's say two) but not for me. besides, the mom of a teenage John Wesley (founder of Methodist denomination of Christianity) advised:
Take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to You, however innocent it may be in itself.

Amen to that. :)

Be the reason I live
Be my quest, my constant vision
Be the water I drink
The treasure I seek more than gold
Be the fire in my heart
My consuming love and passion
Be the air that I breathe
The song that I sing from my heart and soul
Jesus, Lord over all
Be the Lord over me
Jesus, drawn to this alter I come
Here is my heart
May Your will be done in me
-- Sonicflood, "Lord Over All"

p.s. i started this blog to reach out to others, to share God's love and mercy...like a teacher relaying information to the "younger" generation...haha, who needs help now? :p i have many struggles and questions but i wanted an outlet for the answers i do know, those things that i've already learned/proven/experienced about Him, those things He's already shown and revealed to me. the world doesn't need more problems and questions, but answers and solutions :)
except for this entry. but it's ok. it's a testimony in itself. i need help! :) because i'm a former addict who graduated from rehab but is now seemingly running back to that addiction, that same addiction which i already know is harmful...(at least, "harmful" given my current psychological-emotional-etc state)
please pray for me :) thanks!
and God, i know You're watching me type this...what's it gonna be? is x3 going to suck so badly that i would be ashamed i ever bought a comic? or is it going to be so great that i will stumble and fall yet again...and again and again?
how pessimistic of me. GOD, i pray that You set my priorities straight and give me one good BONK on the head! help me appreciate the wonderful things about the x-men that inspired me for more than half of my young life...and steer me clear of the worldly, selfish reasoning that hindered me and made me do the modern-day equivalent of cutting off my arm and throwing it into the sea. :) please, God! my arm's gone already! what else can i throw? :) (there's another arm, but, er, wouldn't it be better if i just get all wise and mature and spiritual and DETACHED about this?)
for what it's worth, i give You my will. let Your will be done and not mine. (gulp!) (this is one of those scary prayers...)
i'm Yours, God! even if now it's only in writing...the heart eventually follows the will :)

(now back to work. bonk me on the head! i should get things done already!!!)
this is how bad i need your prayers :) :)
good thing i have the BEST backer in the world, the Creator Himself!

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

thank You, God, for supporting me. and for x-men too :) and for whoever's praying for me right now. help me through all this, and through the paperwork that's not yet checked because of all this! :) in everything, thanks pa rin...because i'm having struggles simply because the x-stories are so beautifully written (and sometimes, beautifully drawn, but if you haven't noticed yet i'm a writer and i appreciate the words more)...

okay, i'll stop na...thanks again God, 'coz i can count on Your faithfulness and on Your plans that are INFINITELY BETTER WRITTEN than any comic :) :)

i'll stop typing na. :)

addendum (Jan24 2006): ok na! please see "ok na :)" and "ok na (talaga) :)" :)